Creating a managed node group - Amazon EKS

Creating a managed node group

This topic helps you to launch an Amazon EKS managed node group of Linux nodes that register with your Amazon EKS cluster. After the nodes join the cluster, you can deploy Kubernetes applications to them.

Managed node groups are supported on Amazon EKS clusters beginning with Kubernetes version 1.14 and platform version eks.3. Existing clusters can update to version 1.14 or later to take advantage of this feature. For more information, see Updating an Amazon EKS cluster Kubernetes version.

If this is your first time launching an Amazon EKS managed node group, we recommend that you follow one of our Getting started with Amazon EKS guides instead. The guides provide complete end-to-end walkthroughs for creating an Amazon EKS cluster with nodes.


Amazon EKS nodes are standard Amazon EC2 instances, and you are billed for them based on normal Amazon EC2 prices. For more information, see Amazon EC2 Pricing.

Select the tab with the name of the tool that you'd like to create your managed node group with.


To create a managed node group with eksctl

This procedure requires eksctl version 0.25.0 or later. You can check your version with the following command:

eksctl version

For more information on installing or upgrading eksctl, see Installing or upgrading eksctl.

  • Create your managed node group with the following eksctl command, replacing the variable text with your own values.

    eksctl create nodegroup \ --cluster my-cluster \ --region us-west-2 \ --name my-mng \ --node-type m5.large \ --nodes 3 \ --nodes-min 2 \ --nodes-min 4 \ --ssh--access \ --ssh-public-key \ --managed
AWS Management Console

To launch your managed node group using the AWS Management Console

  1. Wait for your cluster status to show as ACTIVE. You cannot create a managed node group for a cluster that is not yet ACTIVE.

  2. Open the Amazon EKS console at

  3. Choose the name of the cluster that you want to create your managed node group in.

  4. On the cluster page, select the Compute tab, and then choose Add Node Group.

  5. On the Configure node group page, fill out the parameters accordingly, and then choose Next.

    • Name – Enter a unique name for your managed node group.

    • Node IAM role name – Choose the node instance role to use with your node group. For more information, see Amazon EKS node IAM role.


      We recommend using a role that is not currently in use by any self-managed node group, or that you plan to use with a new self-managed node group. For more information, see Deleting a managed node group.

    • Subnets – Choose the subnets to launch your managed nodes into.


      If you are running a stateful application across multiple Availability Zones that is backed by Amazon EBS volumes and using the Kubernetes Cluster Autoscaler, you should configure multiple node groups, each scoped to a single Availability Zone. In addition, you should enable the --balance-similar-node-groups feature.


      If you choose a public subnet, then the subnet must have MapPublicIpOnLaunch set to true for the instances to be able to successfully join a cluster. If the subnet was created using eksctl or the Amazon EKS-vended AWS CloudFormation templates on or after 03/26/2020, then this setting is already set to true. If the subnets were created with eksctl or the AWS CloudFormation templates before 03/26/2020, then you need to change the setting manually. For more information, see Modifying the public IPv4 addressing attribute for your subnet.

    • Remote Access – (Optional) You can enable SSH access to the nodes in your managed node group. Enabling SSH allows you to connect to your instances and gather diagnostic information if there are issues. Complete the following steps to enable remote access.


      We highly recommend enabling remote access when you create your node group. You cannot enable remote access after the node group is created.

      1. Select the check box to Allow remote access to nodes.

      2. For SSH key pair, choose an Amazon EC2 SSH key to use. For more information, see Amazon EC2 key pairs in the Amazon EC2 User Guide for Linux Instances.

      3. For Allow remote access from, choose All to allow SSH access from anywhere on the Internet (, or select a security group to allow SSH access from instances that belong to that security group.

    • Tags – (Optional) You can choose to tag your Amazon EKS managed node group. These tags do not propagate to other resources in the node group, such as Auto Scaling groups or instances. For more information, see Tagging your Amazon EKS resources.

    • Kubernetes labels – (Optional) You can choose to apply Kubernetes labels to the nodes in your managed node group.

  6. On the Set compute configuration page, fill out the parameters accordingly, and then choose Next.

    • AMI type – Choose Amazon Linux 2 (AL2_x86_64) for non-GPU instances, or Amazon Linux 2 GPU Enabled (AL2_x86_64_GPU) for GPU instances.

    • Instance type – Choose the instance type to use in your managed node group. Each Amazon EC2 instance type supports a maximum number of elastic network interfaces (ENIs) and each ENI supports a maximum number of IP addresses. Since each worker node and pod is assigned its own IP address it's important to choose an instance type that will support the maximum number of pods that you want to run on each worker node. For a list of the number of ENIs and IP addresses supported by instance types, see IP addresses per network interface per instance type. For example, the t3.medium instance type supports a maximum of 18 IP addresses for the worker node and pods. Some instance types might not be available in all Regions.

    • Disk size – Enter the disk size (in GiB) to use for your node's root volume.

  7. On the Setup scaling policies page, fill out the parameters accordingly, and then choose Next.


    Amazon EKS does not automatically scale your node group in or out. However, you can configure the Kubernetes Cluster Autoscaler to do this for you.

    • Minimum size – Specify the minimum number of nodes that the managed node group can scale in to.

    • Maximum size – Specify the maximum number of nodes that the managed node group can scale out to.

    • Desired size – Specify the current number of nodes that the managed node group should maintain at launch.

  8. On the Review and create page, review your managed node group configuration and choose Create.


    If nodes fail to join the cluster, see Nodes fail to join cluster in the Troubleshooting guide.

  9. Watch the status of your nodes and wait for them to reach the Ready status.

    kubectl get nodes --watch
  10. (GPU nodes only) If you chose a GPU instance type and the Amazon EKS-optimized accelerated AMI, then you must apply the NVIDIA device plugin for Kubernetes as a DaemonSet on your cluster with the following command.

    kubectl apply -f
  11. (Optional) Deploy a sample Linux application – Deploy a sample application to test your cluster and Linux nodes.

Now that you have a working Amazon EKS cluster with nodes, you are ready to start installing Kubernetes add-ons and deploying applications to your cluster. The following documentation topics help you to extend the functionality of your cluster.